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So a few things have happened...

Rather than accept 15.8 million for one year, Marco Estrada has opted for $26 million over two years. You know, ten million dollars is a decent amount of money. More than I've got.

Three - count 'em, three! - players have accepted their teams' qualifying offer. The trailblazer was old chum Colby Rasmus, who will return to Houston. Brett Anderson did likewise in Los Angeles, and Matt Wieters may have upset the Orioles' plans by choosing to stay in Baltimore.

Two pretty interesting National Leaguers are coming to the junior circuit. This pleases me. I'll get to see lots more of the utterly fabulous Andrelton Simmons, who's just an amazing defensive player. He's probably the best defensive infielder the game has seen since the heyday of Ozzie Smith. And the Red Sox traded a big chunk of their farm to obtain Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel's career so far looks roughly equivalent in terms of quality to that of Mariano Rivera.

Kimbrel is 27 years old (the same age Rivera was when he became a closer) and he's coming off a pretty fine season in San Diego - he saved 39 games with a 2.58 ERA, striking out 87 batters in just 59.1 IPT. The Red Sox will surely take that. But here's the thing - this was by far the worst of Kimbrel's five full seasons. By a mile. It will be interesting if he's declined to Merely Very Good or if he'll get back to posting numbers that suggest he might have some kind of secret cheat code to this here baseball game. At any rate, Mariano Rivera certainly had seasons as a closer that weren't as good as what Kimbrel did last year.
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Chuck - Sunday, November 15 2015 @ 04:12 PM EST (#315207) #
But here's the thing - this was by far the worst of Kimbrel's five full seasons.

I love Kimbrel's 2012 season where he struck out half the batters he faced (116 K, 231 BF). I don't know if that had been done by that point in history before.

Chapman, in 2014, raised the ante, striking out 106 of 202 batters faced.

Richard S.S. - Sunday, November 15 2015 @ 05:04 PM EST (#315210) #
Should the Jays go after Chapman? If it gets pricy, should they add Votto? That lets you trade Encarnacion if necessary.
Jeremy - Sunday, November 15 2015 @ 05:19 PM EST (#315212) #
Just for fun:

A week or so ago I did a Play Index search on BBRef to find the Blue Jays' career leaders in plate appearances at each spot in the batting order. The leaders are as follows.
1. Shannon Stewart
2. Roberto Alomar
3. Vernon Wells
4. Carlos Delgado
5. John Olerud
6. Willie Upshaw
7. Ernie Whitt
8. Pat Borders
9. Alfredo Griffin

It's a fairly decent lineup, I guess, if everybody's having one of their better years. With three first basemen and two catchers, though, it looks pretty ugly defensively. I guess Borders has to play third, and the outfield left to right would be Upshaw, Stewart and Wells. Unless you'd rather put Upshaw in right, so Wells can play center and Stewart in left. I would play Olerud at first and Delgado can DH.
katman - Sunday, November 15 2015 @ 06:56 PM EST (#315213) #
Boston was playing very well in the 2nd half of 2015. Now they have a solid 1-2-3 in their bullpen, too. Add a good free agent starter, like Cueto, and they become quite dangerous. Jays have a very good lineup, but even if we signed Leake or Kazmir (So: Stroman, Leake/ Kazmir, Estrada, Dickey, +1), I think we're going to have a serious fight for the division in 2016. Thoughts on any of:

1. Meanwhile, how do people feel about Maeda as a potential solution instead of Leake or Kazmir? Or should we be thinking of a different FA starter (other than Price, Greinke)?

2. Should we sign Fister as a fairly inexpensive ($3-6M) FA groundballer who can take advantage of RC turf and defense, and who might be able to recover some velocity with the strength training and be a cheapish #5 or long-relief swing starter? You seem to need 6-7 starters these days, esp. if Stro and Sanchez are both in the rotation. Right now, there's basically nothing after Hutch.

3. I'm thinking that we want to move Sanchez to the rotation because he had the innings and experience to build on, and showed promise in 2015. I thought he was really starting to click, and that would make him way more valuable. Let him compete for the #5 slot, and move back to the bullpen late in the season if we run into innings issues. (Stro, FA, Estrada, Dickey, Sanchez). Counter-arguments?

4. I don't see us having the bullets to trade for Chapman, even as a 1-year guy. Whom should we pursue re: relief?

If we're thinking of Sanchez as a rotation candidate, I think Osuna becomes the set-up guy, to get him more innings and prep him for a transition to the rotation. If we're thinking of Osuna, I don't know if I make Sanchez a closer again. That means we either need a closer, or we go with a healthy Cecil and get a very good lefty to replace Cecil. Girodo is good Loup insurance, but can't replace Cecil. So whom? It's too bad the Phils traded Diekman to Texas last year. In a perfect world, I'd want to sign him and make him the closer. But we can't so... Soria?
Richard S.S. - Sunday, November 15 2015 @ 08:02 PM EST (#315214) #
Never, never, never Fister, even if FREE. Gibbons needs another LHP so Bastardo is the best choice. The Jays should offer on Maeda, but still go after two more Starters, because we never know what will happen. This year, both Osuna and Sanchez stay in the Bullpen, with Sanchez first to the Rotation if needed. Hutchison should start the season in Buffalo. As long as the Jays acquire an Ace, or a 1A to Stroman, or a very good #2 Starter, they can sign whomever is good enough to pitch with Stroman, New Guy, Estrada and Dickey. That should work for this Team.
jensan - Sunday, November 15 2015 @ 10:57 PM EST (#315215) #
john Lackey is 1A or Cueto. Lackey is shorter term .3/48MM

you could than trade Revere for Padres Derek Norris, Colabello + B prospect for Danny Salazar or Smyly. Loney will not be part of the Rays future!

Than sign Bastardo.

$140 MM
Michael - Sunday, November 15 2015 @ 11:17 PM EST (#315216) #
I think Fister is a good high risk, buy-low option. If you look at his career up until last year you thought him a solid #2 starter. Last year he was a #5 quality. He's old and his velocity was down 1-2 mph on the fastball last year, so this could be a fatal dip. But it could also be a hiccup, and his profile was never overly reliant on fast ball beating people.

There are a half dozen or more starting pitchers I'd much rather sign this offseason if you don't consider the price of the signing, but when you consider the price, I think Fister stands a reasonable chance of being one of the top 3 signings of the offseason. But also a reasonable chance delivering essentially replacement level value.
JB21 - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 01:00 AM EST (#315217) #
Colabello + B prospect for Danny Salazar or Smyly

This made me actually laugh out loud.

Vulg - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 01:33 AM EST (#315218) #
If we're thinking of Sanchez as a rotation candidate, I think Osuna becomes the set-up guy, to get him more innings and prep him for a transition to the rotation. If we're thinking of Osuna, I don't know if I make Sanchez a closer again.

I recognize that Osuna's never come close to starter innings over the course of a full season (not to mention still being within 2 years of TJ surgery), but I don't see Sanchez as a viable option to move into the rotation. He profiles as an unpredictable flamethrower that's better suited for late inning work until he can refine his command. I just hope the wildness he exhibited as a starter (42 BBs to 37 Ks) doesn't foreshadow a Romero-like career trajectory.
Richard S.S. - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 07:32 AM EST (#315219) #
Pitchers shouldn't go into the Rotation because they can. Ask instead if they should. It's unlikely that much gets done in Trades, because no one is sensible about who gets traded. Also because there's little to trade.

Right now, Dickey can throw 200.0+ innings. Estrada might throw 200.0+ innings. Stroman will not throw 180.0+ innings, probably less. Who replaces his innings. Only Sanchez may be good enough or capable enough to do so.

This year especially, any Starter acquisitions or inhouse promotions should only be done if they are capable of throwing into October, generally 200.0+ innings. Sanchez could Start in the Rotation, but sometime after the All Star Break he'll run out of gas. There is no one to replace him and trading for another Starter, I ask with what. Osuna should be tried as a Starter, but not this year. He's even more innings limited, by any measure they use.

Giving a contract to a Free Agent Starter who's already mid-30s or older this year is unwise. At some point in time, acquiring a very good Pitcher with term or being given term is almost mandatory. Filling a Rotation with just kids can be scary bad. Not having two Front-Line Starters does not bode well for any Postseason aspirations. Having more however would be great.
John Northey - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 09:30 AM EST (#315222) #
Looking at the rotation I wouldn't be shocked if the Jays do a 6 man rotation for a big chunk in an effort to keep innings down and guys fresh for the playoffs (should the Jays make it). That would be 27 starts each, no one going over 189 innings (7 per start). They might do a modified version where Dickey and Estrada stay on 5 days while the rest go on 6 with extra rest for whoever needs it when conflicts arise. Stroman, Sanchez, Osuna and Hutchison on the 6 day (Hutch the 6th man with lots of bench/pen time). 5 innnings a game for 27 starts is 135 IP so these 4 would be between 135 and 189 IP each which would work fine. Dickey would get the most starts as you don't worry about his arm. Estrada would be close behind. Stroman might shift to a 5 day setup late in the season. Sanchez & Osuna you keep on the 6 day until September when you shift them to the pen if needed to prep for playoffs. Hutch you abuse by shifting in and out and filling slots unless he gets it going. If he really takes off then you put him on a 5 day rotation.

I think that could work but it would require work on Gibbons (and the pitching coaches) side to keep things going smoothly.
SK in NJ - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 09:49 AM EST (#315223) #
Unless Sanchez comes into Spring Training with a completely different skill set (starts to get swings and misses, has better command of the strike zone, etc), then I'd avoid putting him in the rotation completely. I'm not even sure he's ready for a late inning bullpen role since he relies so much on putting the ball in play while high K guys are far more desirable in the late innings.

Keep Sanchez in the pen and stretch Osuna out. If the club feels Osuna's mechanics and/or lack of innings make him a no-go as a starter, then keep him in the closer role, and bump Sanchez down to a 6th/7th inning role with Cecil getting the bulk of the high leverage spots late.

It's clear that Gibbons, for whatever reason, did not like Hendriks as a reliever (despite a 1.5 WAR in 60+ innings), and Hendriks has enough innings in his arm to not have to worry about an IP max (175 in 2014, 145 in 2013, 191 in 2012). If they feel his increased velocity as a reliever is even remotely sustainable as a starter (low/mid-90's), then give it a shot. There could be something there.
uglyone - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 11:31 AM EST (#315224) #
"At any rate, Mariano Rivera certainly had seasons as a closer that weren't as good as what Kimbrel did last year."

did he?

Kimbrel 2015: 59.1ip, 1.3bwar, 1.5fwar, 1.4rawar, 1.5avg/65

Rivera's worst seasons as RP:

2012 (42): 8.1ip, 0.4bwar, 0.4fwar, 0.4rawar, 3.1avg/65
2007 (37): 71.1ip, 1.9bwar, 2.0fwar, 2.0rawar, 1.8avg/65
2002 (32): 46.0ip, 1.6bwar, 1.4fwar, 1.5rawar, 2.1avg/65
2000 (30): 75.2ip, 2.6bwar, 1.9fwar, 2.6rawar, 2.1avg/65
2013 (42): 64.0ip, 2.5bwar, 1.5fwar, 2.5rawar, 2.2avg/65

amazingly, I dont think Mariano actually ever had a year as "bad" as Kimbrel last year.
uglyone - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 11:34 AM EST (#315225) #
"Boston was playing very well in the 2nd half of 2015."

were they? they were 41-40 in the 2nd half. 10-10 in their last 20.
uglyone - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 11:42 AM EST (#315226) #
My take on the rotation - IMO Shapiro is going to get another SP on a significant contract. The only question is how good he'll be.

Which means one SP slot for Hutch, Osuna, Sanchez to battle over. I imagine they'll all be stretched out in spring to fight over it, but with Hutch getting first dibs as long as he doesn't blow up in ST.
Richard S.S. - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 11:58 AM EST (#315227) #
Gibbons trusts few Pitchers. If you are dependable you can win his trust. Having a bad outing or two loses that trust. Hendriks has first inning issues where he's not always sharp (the next innings, 2nd, 3rd or more are usually very good).

This is a GO FOR IT ALL year and nothing less will be accepted. If Osuna and/or Sanchez and/or perhaps even Hutchison make the Rotation, they won't make the Postseason. Those three represent too much uncertaincy to be dependable. They should/will start only when others can't.
uglyone - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 12:11 PM EST (#315228) #
"If Osuna and/or Sanchez and/or perhaps even Hutchison make the Rotation, they won't make the Postseason. "

Paul D - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 12:13 PM EST (#315229) #
I think you have to try Osuna in the rotation. I realize that Chris Sale is the exception, not the rule, but you have to find out if your stud young prospect/reliever can start.
Richard S.S. - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 01:06 PM EST (#315232) #
Putting Osuna in the Rotation is not a good idea, because whether he succeeds or fails does not matter. Last year was the most he's pitched, so at some point he will not be able to pitch more. Hopefully he's just running out of gas and not hurt. Who is his replacement? Who fills in the great big hole in the Bullpen? Apparently people don't want the Jays to be be in the Postseason any more. Must work for NBC.
Parker - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 01:52 PM EST (#315235) #
Shi Davidi is reporting that the entire Jays coaching staff will return for 2016. Good to see some stability there for once - what has it been, four years since the Jays had a hitting coach with more than one season of tenure?

This seems like a good decision - there were no huge failures in hitting, pitching, or fielding performances that you'd want to blame these guys for, so at the very least they deserve the benefit of the doubt. I do hope one of them can convince Bautista to spend a little less time in RF, though.
Mylegacy - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 02:08 PM EST (#315236) #
We traded Synergaardsklty (I may have erred in spelling his name), Norris and Hoffman - we KEPT Stroman, Sanchez and Osuna.

We had 6 very good YOUNG starting prospects. Because our bullpen has been a combination of Swiss cheese and overripe Limburger, and we had/have a "window to Glory" we've mired two of the three future starters we kept in the pen. We've got to get these two guys on a path to be starters. If they fail on that path then: "send them to Coventry..." er "send them to the pen..."

The problem is: IF we are to get this train to the Glory station we have to acknowledge that they were indispensable in the pen. They are STILL (most likely - at least one of them will be) indispensable in the pen. AND, neither has had enough innings to be able to be a starter for a full season. By leaving them in the pen (especially Osuna with a closers few innings) we push this problem down the road. IF - they both spend 16 in the pen they'll need 17 to be lengthened out and then - hopefully - they'll be ready for 18. Sigh.

So - unfortunately - I see no serious alternative but to postpone their development as starters and go for Glory. IF - one of them is needed in the rotation this year it has to be Sanchez. He had 91 innings last year and could get to 140 to 160 this year if he's monitored like crazy. 150 innings would be about 25 or 26 starts. By late July we might be able to "do a Price" and bring in a hired gun for the run for the roses.

IF (very unlikely) we could get Chapman (or some similar closer) - then Osuna could be a set up guy and hopefully get 90 to 100 innings in the pen to start lengthening his arm.

BUT - like MLK before me - I have a DREAM! IF - I were running the show I'd get ONE more Ace(ish) starter, one Ace(ish) closer and one very solid pen set-up guy. Then I'd start Stroman, NewGuy, Estrada, Dickey and Osuna/Sanchez as a platoon - as a platoon fifth starter they'd have a few extra days off throughout the year - (Ya, I know I've mentioned this repeatedly over the long off season). Hutch would be the first up from AAA. And perhaps even Harris might continue his development enough to contribute late in the year.

In my mind - no matter what path we take this year we risk either not doing enough NOW to get to Glory, and or we risk wasting two possibly excellent starters for a few years in the pen and thereby risk 2017 and perhaps even 2018 as well...

Time for a wee dram...

Lylemcr - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 02:55 PM EST (#315237) #
Osuna, in the long term, is a starter in my mind.
1. He is built like a brick house (durable)
2. He has many pitches (not just a fastball). When hitters see him the second\third time around, he can change it up a bit.
3. He is mentally strong. He is a closer already! Come on!
4. He seems to have another level of pitching when the going gets tough.

I would like to see the 4th starter to be Sanchez\Osuna.

My biggest question is Hutchinson. Personally, I still have high hopes for him. He was our opening day starter! And is 2 years removed from Tommy John. He is still ironing things out. I think if they make him the #5 and put him in places to succeed, I think everyone is going to be very pleased. If he can get consistent, he will be an excellent pitcher. (Big if).

Right now, now that Estrada is wrapped up, they should kick the tires on a couple of mid-tier starters (don't break the bank). If no option come up, fill up the bullpen with arms.
Mike Green - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 02:55 PM EST (#315238) #
Comparing Kimbrel and Rivera is hard to do- many people are of the view that fWAR and bWAR don't work well for relief pitchers.  We do know that Kimbrel is throwing fewer innings than Rivera did early in his career, and that Rivera was regularly in the playoffs, and was held back later in the season as it became clear that the Yankees were once again going to be there.  Prior to this year, Kimbrel has of course done a better job of dispatching batters himself and has a considerable lower ERA+ than Rivera did at this stage of his career. 

My guess is that Kimbrel's career path will be more like Henke's than like Rivera's, with a declining K rate and declining effectiveness as he goes on.  It wouldn't surprise me at all if he flames out like Eric Gagne.

uglyone - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 03:48 PM EST (#315239) #
what made me give up on B/R is how hard it is to seperate SP and RP numbers.

I think your ERA+ stat for Mariano is tainted by his time as a starter in his rookie year.

I have him at a 47era- as an RP by age 27, compared to Kimbrel's 44.

but only once did rivera have a number even close to Kimbrel's 69era- this year, and that's when he posted a 70era- at age 37. Difference there though is that Mariano still had much better underlying numbers, while craig's matched his era.

Kimbrel's numbers have shown a consistent direction since his historic 2nd season:

ERA-: 26 33 44 69
FIP-: 21 52 51 70
xFIP-: 23 51 60 64
Mike Green - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 04:24 PM EST (#315241) #
The most important thing to bear in mind with Rivera, in my view, is that he threw 141 innings in the post-season with an ERA of 0.70 and peripheral statistics that were consistent with that (86 hits, 2 home runs, 21 walks, 110 strikeouts). Kimbrel has thrown 6 good innings in the post-season so far, but the odds that he passes 70 post-season innings in his career is pretty low. 

Schilling and Smoltz were both great in the post-season, but Rivera was in a whole other league entirely.  I doubt that any player did more for his team in the post-season.

Mike Green - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 04:25 PM EST (#315242) #
...except for Ruth.
Richard S.S. - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 04:30 PM EST (#315243) #
I find there's a problem with this Organization and their general indifference to the Front of the Rotation. Generally, if they get one very good Pitcher, then they don't get anymore and wonder why the Team isn't better. At least now they have someone who isn't opposed to 6 or 7 year contracts.

They will not get Price or Greinke unless they are will to go to the $30.0 - $35.0 Million per year range. Cueto can be downright strange at time with his bizarre ideas of pitching, but he's an option the Jays might consider. The one Pitcher I prefer above most others is Jordan Zimmermann. He has a chance to be exceptionally good. He needs to use his changeup more and throw both his slider and curve st least 5 mph slower. But I don't know if they are willing to go there.

Anyone else they might acquire is a full step down and at best just another Mid-Rotation arm. They tried that last year and were never more than average until A.A. made his moves. LaCava said he was after two more Starters, bargain basement acquisition and dumpster diving.?

China fan - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 05:03 PM EST (#315245) #
"....Hutch getting first dibs as long as he doesn't blow up in ST..."

Yes, probably true, and Hutch is a good bounce-back candidate, but he will be on a shorter leash than he was in 2015.  If he struggles in April, the Jays won't give him the luxury of an entire season in the rotation this time.  LaCava has already commented on the crucial importance of 6th starters and rotation depth.  If Hutch begins the season in the rotation, there will be a Plan B and Plan C in case he struggles.

As far as I can ascertain, Hutchison still has options.  (I believe he used up one option in 2013 and another option last season -- unless that demotion was too brief to trigger an option.)   And Hutch is not a logical candidate for bullpen duty.  So, unless he has an excellent spring training, it might make sense to stash him in the Buffalo rotation while the Jays experiment with Osuna or Sanchez or Hendriks in the major-league rotation.
Mylegacy - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 05:11 PM EST (#315246) #
What I think about Zimmerman...

What makes Estrada great is his high heat being 11 mph faster than his league best changeup and both pitches being thrown from the same arm angle and speed. Zimmerman is a fastball/changeup guy who's high heat is is NOT 11 mph faster than his changeup and who's changeup is not "...league best." To me Zimmerman is a fastball pitcher who gives up too many fly balls. Period. Too many fly balls in the Rogers Center leaves very little wiggle room unless he can become Marco.  If you're saying Marco can teach him - then let Marco teach Hutch, Sanchez and Osuna first. I can't see paying big bucks for the Zimmer.

However, I do like his bulldogedness and in a bigger park I'd take a shot at him.

jerjapan - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 05:14 PM EST (#315247) #
They've certainly shown a willingness to use options in the past with guys who might have been perceived as 'established' at the big league level - I could definitely see Hutch in AAA if he struggles, but I think he's got just as much of a chance to break out as a legit mid-rotation starter.  It's easy to forget how young he is, or how dominant he was in the minors. 

Stro - Dickey - Estrada - Hutch - Osuna works for me with Sanchez as your 6th guy, but that leaves a pretty empty pen.  Add two more vet arms and I'm happy.

Others have asked this but I don't recall an answer being posted - does anyone have a sense of Maeda? 

Richard S.S. - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 05:44 PM EST (#315248) #
Jays Journal did a decent write up of him which makes me think Zimmermann could be better than Price.
James W - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 08:40 PM EST (#315249) #
Hutchison should not have used up an option last season. He was in the minors for less than 20 days, I believe.
John Northey - Monday, November 16 2015 @ 09:27 PM EST (#315250) #
With free agents and trades I'd lean away from NL guys unless they come cheaper than an equivalent AL guy. The leagues have a big spread now and without a DH it gets bigger.

Zimmerman had a mid 3's ERA last year in Washington playing in a division with 2 teams above 500...barely and one was his. The other 3 were 90+ loss teams. Boston & Baltimore hit him hard. he did shut down the Jays for 8 innings but I don't see enough to make me go 'yeah, ace material'.

If a guy is less than ace material I'd be nervous about giving a 5+ year $100+ million deal to him. I'd rather give $200+ mil over 7 to someone like Price or Greinke than $100+ over 5 to Zimmerman or Cueto.
Jonny German - Tuesday, November 17 2015 @ 05:35 AM EST (#315251) #
I could definitely see Hutch in AAA if he struggles

He's been struggling for 2 years now. He's at the point where he needs to prove he can do something more than struggle.

It's easy to forget how young he is, or how dominant he was in the minors.

He's young enough, but his minor league record is too distant (2011) and at levels too low (only 40 good innings above A-ball) to be counted as significant at this point.
China fan - Tuesday, November 17 2015 @ 07:39 AM EST (#315252) #
"....Hutchison should not have used up an option last season. He was in the minors for less than 20 days, I believe..."

Thanks.  I believe Hutch is the logical 6th starter for the Jays in 2016 and should be stashed in the Buffalo rotation, unless he performs very strongly in spring training and seems appreciably better than he was in 2015.  The great advantage of Hutch is that he can be easily optioned to Buffalo and can remain stretched-out there, whereas a pitcher like Sanchez or Osuna will be more difficult to convert to the rotation if they begin the season in the bullpen.  Equally importantly, Hutchison can be working on his mechanics and building his confidence in the minors, so that he's ready to step into the rotation when called upon.

It's very predictable that one of the five starting pitchers in April will either get injured or slump badly at some point during the season. The key is to have a major-league-ready starter in Buffalo who can be recalled at any minute.  Hutchison can be that pitcher.
China fan - Tuesday, November 17 2015 @ 08:05 AM EST (#315253) #
On another subject:  Bob Elliott is reporting that Mark Buehrle will either retire or pitch for his home-town Cardinals in 2016.  This reminds me of a debate that we had last season about whether the Jays should give a qualifying offer to Buehrle.  There were Bauxites who argued, at that time, that the Jays should play tough with Buehrle and not do him any favors on the QO front.  But this month, when the Jays refrained from tying a QO on Buehrle, I don't recall anyone here complaining about it.  What happened to those who said the Jays should treat Buehrle the same as any other pitcher and hobble him with a QO so that the Jays will have an advantage in negotiations?  Have they changed their minds now?

I suppose, to be fair, it could be argued that Buehrle isn't worth a QO any more because of his late-season slump.  But wasn't his slump mostly due to injury?  His overall season numbers were still very good.  As some Bauxites argued in August and September, he's still not very old and he's still pitching well and he seems to be "Mr. Reliable" as an innings-eater with a reliably solid ERA every year.  His FIP and xFIP in 2015 were only slightly worse than his career norms, and he was still a 2.1 WAR pitcher, similar to 2013 and 2012, if not quite up to his 2014 numbers.  (And his totals in 2015 were a little distorted by the ill-fated effort to give him 200 innings on the season.)    I would have thought that the people who argued for a QO a few months ago would have seen Buehrle as a more reliable and predictable pitcher than Estrada, for example, and therefore more deserving of a QO.

So, what was Shapiro's thinking on this one?  Was he doing a favor to Buehrle, letting a veteran go where he wants without impediment?   Or did he decide that Buehrle has entered a stage of decline, and that the late-season injury was more than just an injury but was actually a sign that Buehrle is over the hill?  Or a third possibility: is it possible that the Jays could even be negotiating with Buehrle now, trying to lure him back at a cheap price? 

mathesond - Tuesday, November 17 2015 @ 08:53 AM EST (#315254) #
Perhaps the Jays felt that Buehrle at $15.8M wasn't worth it, and would also be untradeable at that salary.

SK in NJ - Tuesday, November 17 2015 @ 09:04 AM EST (#315255) #
Buehrle ended the season injured and pitching poorly.

If he was healthy and the same old Buehrle, then I think giving him the QO would have been fine. Giving a guaranteed 200 IP 2-3 WAR starter $15.8M for one season is a reasonable deal. The problem was it didn't appear that Buehrle was right in the final few months of 2015 and in that case him accepting the QO was no longer a desirable option for the Jays.

Of course, if he goes to the Cardinals, he'll end up with an ERA of 2.20 in 230 innings next season. They have that magic over there.
Parker - Tuesday, November 17 2015 @ 09:15 AM EST (#315256) #
My guess is that the team is convinced that Buehrle has no interest in returning to the Jays - if they make him a QO, he either comes back or retires; he's not going to be signing anywhere else with that draft pick compensation attached to him without sitting out half the year. Qualifying Buehrle screws him over with nothing to be gained from it. Letting him make his own decision shows that the team is not run by a bunch of dinks who have no real regard for the players, despite their constant praising in the media. The Jays showing that they treat their veterans with respect and dignity might help to attract these types of players in the future.
China fan - Tuesday, November 17 2015 @ 09:31 AM EST (#315257) #
"....The Jays showing that they treat their veterans with respect and dignity might help to attract these types of players in the future...."

I think this is probably correct, and indeed this is what I argued in August when we debated whether the Jays should tie a QO on Buehrle or not.  At the time, I quoted a SportsNet reporter as saying that the Jays probably would not QO him, and I speculated that this was the reason.  But there were other Bauxites who argued the opposite, so I was just curious whether they still feel the same way.

As for Buehrle's poor performance in the late stages of the season:  maybe it did affect the Jays decision.  It seemed to be injury-related, but perhaps the Jays felt that Buehrle isn't recovering from injuries as fast as he might have done earlier in his career, and therefore would be much more prone to breakdown if he continued to pitch.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, November 17 2015 @ 09:37 AM EST (#315258) #
Having an National League bias is natural for those of us who do not understand NL Pitching. Does he have the stuff and does it play here should be the questions, the only questions.

Being unwilling to sign someone not marketed as the best for big money is understandable. Not everyone is willing to admit where the market is going. Price signs for at least 7, but possibly 8 years for a least $32.5 MM - $35.0MM per year. Greinke signs for at least 5, but possibly 6 years for at least what Price gets. Thinking just $200.0 Million over 7 ( Price), $100.0 Million over 5 (Greinke) that is not even conceivable and not even wishful thinking.

Zimmermann had a very good changeup he decided not to throw much. He threw both a very good slider and a very good curve only 7-9 mph slower than his fastball. Considering he has a very good fastball, that's not enough spread between pitches. No wonder he's getting hit. Those a easy changes to make for this Team, but apparently not considered by his former team, something about winning got in the way.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 17 2015 @ 09:45 AM EST (#315259) #
It was a very sad ending to Buehrle's mostly wonderful time in Toronto.  It would have been nice to have him on the roster for the Kansas City series with Cecil out and all those left-handers in the Kansas City lineup.  I know that he was hurt towards the end of the season, but the pursuit of the 200 inning season over the last weekend seemed to me to be uncharacteristically selfish of him and didn't help his chances of being healthy enough to face two or three left-handed hitters a couple of times against the Royals.   
Dave Till - Tuesday, November 17 2015 @ 10:13 AM EST (#315260) #

I know that he was hurt towards the end of the season, but the pursuit of the 200 inning season over the last weekend seemed to me to be uncharacteristically selfish of him and didn't help his chances of being healthy enough to face two or three left-handed hitters a couple of times against the Royals.

Once the Jays had decided to postpone Price's next start to Game 1 of the ALDS, they didn't have a regular starter able to go on normal rest for that game. Days rest as of October 4:

Price N/A
Stroman 3
Dickey 3
Hutchison 2
Buehrle 1
Estrada 0

So the Jays really had no alternative but to go to their bullpen for that start. Given this, you might as well see if you can get a couple of innings out of Buehrle and get him over 200.

And I'm not sure that Buehrle would have been much help in the bullpen in the postseason. He last pitched out of the bullpen in 2000.

Mike Green - Tuesday, November 17 2015 @ 10:46 AM EST (#315261) #
The club could easily have given Buehrle a couple of relief outings in September, and have someone else throw the start (Tepera or a call-up).  I understand that the club wanted to accommodate Buehrle's wish, but personally I felt that it was not Buehrle's finest moment.  I have a lot of respect for him; I just wish that it had ended better.
Lylemcr - Tuesday, November 17 2015 @ 11:04 AM EST (#315262) #
Maybe it was a classy move. Buerhle (I can never spell his name) is a vet and wants to play in St Louis to retire. Instead of being a prick and trying to basically push him out of the game, maybe they just let him go.

A QO would have probably meant his retirement. So... Just let him go. He came and did his job for two years here. He also helped Estrada get his stuff together. Thanks and hopefully the Cards pick him up.
uglyone - Tuesday, November 17 2015 @ 11:44 AM EST (#315263) #
I think it's safe to say that the 2nd half of the season completely changed the option calculations on all of buehrle, dickey, and estrada.

And when talking about 1yr contracts, especially to older players, that's probably appropriate.
#2JBrumfield - Tuesday, November 17 2015 @ 12:17 PM EST (#315264) #
A couple of stories of note from Sportsnet...

The Blue Jays will commemorate the 2016 season with a 40th anniversary patch on their jerseys and Marco Estrada says his first choice was to come back to Baseball North.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 17 2015 @ 02:05 PM EST (#315265) #
Chapman and Votto would be sweet for 2016 but oy that contract. Signed ages 32-39 for $20 to $25 per year and a $7 mil buyout of age 40 season for a guy who played just 62 games in 2014. That lifetime 156 OPS+ would be sweet at the dome though. Chapman as closer would be nice. That would make for a lineup no one would want to face. Upgrade in LF too and pitchers would wet themselves when brought in. Don't see it happening as that is too much cash to take on long term.
China fan - Tuesday, November 17 2015 @ 02:46 PM EST (#315266) #
Not sure if anyone noted this yet, but Osuna finished 4th in voting for AL rookie-of-the-year by the baseball writers last night.  Today at 6 pm (eastern) we'll see how Gibbons does in the manager-of-the-year category.  A separate group, the Internet baseball writers association, today voted Gibbons as third-best manager in the league. 
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, November 17 2015 @ 02:49 PM EST (#315267) #
I agree that Votto/Chapman is probably too rich. Some thoughts:
1) Swapping EE (the logical choice) < -- > Votto would give us a LH power bat, something we clearly need

2) I would really hate to see EE leave. Especially with the Edwing taking off last year. I think sometimes it's easy to underestimate how forming a bond like that with (young/new) fans affects both the fans and the player. My 6/8 year old daughters would be crushed if we lost the Edwing.. Kessel was my daughter's favorite Maple Leaf - even got a shirt on our trip to visit my parents last March - and not 3-4 months later, he's not a Leaf anymore..

3) In terms of building a "crazy power" team, Smoak would probably be the best to trade. Although I guess there wouldn't be a full-time spot for Colabello either.

We don't have many "must go" players - it's probably easier to sign a power outfielder for less $$ than Votto, trade Revere + ?? for a reliever nearly as good Chapman, and still be $10-15/year better off.. I would imagine that EE + Smoak + Colabello gives us much better bang-for-buck next year than EE + Votto. Not saying EE + Votto wouldn't be a better total package, but probably not even 1.5x better for 3x the price.. If our rotation was already set, this would be a "upgrade the killer roster some more" move, but I think we need those $$ in the rotation much more.

Now, if we still had 3-4 years of Romero at $7M/year to send back to the Reds, it would be much more interesting...

John Northey - Tuesday, November 17 2015 @ 04:21 PM EST (#315268) #
In the end a run is a run is a run. Be it via more offense or better pitching. An improved offense can create a bigger chain effect on it, but better pitching can save the pen and help there too.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, November 17 2015 @ 05:42 PM EST (#315272) #
Not to be a nitpicker, Lylecmr, but Mark Buehrle pitched here for three years, not two. I seemed to have read that he was feeling good physically after the playoffs, so he might play next year somewhere. I think the club handled it right not qualifying him. He was a great team mate when he was here and threw a lot of quality innings.
China fan - Tuesday, November 17 2015 @ 07:50 PM EST (#315275) #
Gibbons finished 4th for today's manager-of-the-year award.  After all the criticism he's taken over the years, it's worth at least a tiny mention here. Although I still expect to hear "anyone could have done it with that lineup" from certain quarters.
jerjapan - Tuesday, November 17 2015 @ 08:46 PM EST (#315276) #
He's been struggling for 2 years now. He's at the point where he needs to prove he can do something more than struggle.

Jonny, I think it depends on how you define the term 'struggle'.  Hutch's peripherals were good last year, and Steamer is predicting him to be our second most valuable starter next year as well.  Don't forget, the kid is coming off a major injury.  In developmental terms, he's like a 24 year old.  And those minor league innings absolutely count - that's why he was in the bigs, pitching at a reasonable level, with plenty of projectability, at the age of 22.  

Remember Fangraphs and others were predicting a major breakout last year! 
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, November 17 2015 @ 09:10 PM EST (#315278) #
LaCava in his Estrada Media thingy said what we expected him to say. He said he has offers out to Agents and is also discussing trades. Basic A.A. speak with more nonspecific information that says nothing.

As per usual there is a possible posting, RHP Kenta Maeda (28 in April), which may hold up the Starter Market. David Price is awaiting the Cy Young Decision before he decides who will pay him, how long and how much. So unless there's an early decision on who signs, it will be at least another 7-10 days before much happens.

I think who LaCava's first Starting Acquisition is determines who his second Acquisition must be like. The reason they don't tell us how much they can spend, is that they don't want us to know which "pool" they're fishing in.
Jonny German - Wednesday, November 18 2015 @ 05:52 AM EST (#315280) #
Hutch's peripherals were good last year

It's true. There is reason for hope, and I'm not advocating selling low on him. I just don't think it's wise to assume he'll be a dependable piece of the rotation. Like China fan says, he should be thought of as #6 (or lower).

Steamer is predicting him to be our second most valuable starter next year as well.

A Steamer projection and $1.71 will get you a large coffee at Tim Hortons.

Don't forget, the kid is coming off a major injury.

The standard timeline for coming back from Tommy John is 18 months. At the beginning of the 2015 season Hutchison was 32 months removed from the surgery. If that injury was still an issue in 2015 then it's likely a permanent issue.

And those minor league innings absolutely count - that's why he was in the bigs, pitching at a reasonable level, with plenty of projectability, at the age of 22.

Surely you can agree that he was very much rushed to the bigs. Seriously, 6 starts above A-ball at the time. When Nestor Molina was at that stage he looked like the next King Felix.

Remember Fangraphs and others were predicting a major breakout last year!

What relevance do last year's predictions have? We have a whole new year of data, and it tells us that rather than breaking out he regressed quite badly.
uglyone - Wednesday, November 18 2015 @ 09:00 AM EST (#315282) #
I suspect Shapiro and the rest of the baseball world are much higher on Hutch than the folks here.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 18 2015 @ 09:18 AM EST (#315283) #
Rich Hill signs for $6 million for one year with Oakland.  Proof positive that Billy Beane reads Fangraphs...
Jonny German - Wednesday, November 18 2015 @ 09:34 AM EST (#315284) #
I suspect Shapiro and the rest of the baseball world are much higher on Hutch than the folks here.

Are you counting yourself with the Shapirians or with the folks here?
jerjapan - Wednesday, November 18 2015 @ 09:53 AM EST (#315285) #
Johnny, that tim horton's comment. made me laugh.  I've only been paying attention to lots of advanced / predictive stats recently - can you tell me what's wrong with steamer / what stats you might prefer, if any?

I do agree Hutch was rushed to the bigs - but it worked for Osuna - or Chris Sale, if you prefer a starter comp.  That 18 months of lost development is what I'm referring to with the injury, not the lingering physical effects - Hutch seems fully recovered.  And I do think that last years predicted breakout was in part concealed by some bad luck - In September Dave Laurila talked about his weird season thusly:  "His FIP is 4.24 and his BABiP is .338, while his hard-contact rate is lower than it was last season when he finished 11-13, 4.48 . Hes also drawing more soft contact and inducing more infield fly balls than he did in 2014." 

That said, if he's our sixth starter, I'm fine with that.  According to Bluebird Banter's awesome option chart, he's got two more options, and we saw with Thole last year that the team is willing to option guys who have arb year contracts - Hutch is predicted to get 2.6 million - fine value for a sixth starter. 

Do people here think he's better starting than trying to work out of the pen?   
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 18 2015 @ 10:58 AM EST (#315287) #
the Shapirians

Shapirocrats? Shapiristas? I guess we'll find out whether he's extraterrestrial, corpo-cratic, or anti-capitalist soon enough.  Betting is heaviest on #2.

Hutchison is a bit of a mystery.  Last year, he got through the order twice in pretty decent shape and got killed the 3rd time through the order. It's actually a pretty strong career pattern for him.   You could tandem start him!
uglyone - Wednesday, November 18 2015 @ 12:05 PM EST (#315291) #
"Are you counting yourself with the Shapirians or with the folks here?"
mathesond - Wednesday, November 18 2015 @ 12:21 PM EST (#315294) #
"Are you counting yourself with the Shapirians or with the folks here?"

I'm more of a People's Front of Judea guy, myself
uglyone - Wednesday, November 18 2015 @ 12:25 PM EST (#315295) #
I was a proud Anthopoloupian, but may convert to a Shapiriite yet.
MatO - Wednesday, November 18 2015 @ 03:10 PM EST (#315300) #
Not the Judean Peoples Front?
John Northey - Wednesday, November 18 2015 @ 04:04 PM EST (#315302) #
No question if Hutch doesn't make the starting rotation I'd want him in AAA starting every 5th day to keep stretched out. Not a ton of depth right now in the rotation after all those trades, but really a 6th and 7th is all you need...yeah an 8/9/10 is likely to be used but only for 1 or 2 starts each so not worth worrying about vs the big 5, the pen, who plays in LF, 1B, who the ML backups are, etc.
Dave Till - Wednesday, November 18 2015 @ 04:09 PM EST (#315303) #

Shapirocrats? Shapiristas?

I humbly submit Shapherds.

hypobole - Wednesday, November 18 2015 @ 04:13 PM EST (#315304) #
"I suspect Shapiro and the rest of the baseball world are much higher on Hutch than the folks here."

I suspect Shapiro, at least, isn't as high on Hutch as you may believe. The signing of Estrada strongly hints at that regard.

How much one believes in Hutch depends, in part at least, on how much one believes in FIP. Hutch has been worth 4.3 FIP-based fWAR over the past 3 seasons. Hutch has been worth 0.1 RA/9-based bWAR over that same time frame.

FIP has outliers that are not random variation, and FG has been admitting as much for pitchers bettering their FIP. Dickey's knuckleball for one and recently, Chris Young's IFFB inducing repertoire for another.

However there is the less discussed other end of the spectrum where Ricky Nolasco seems to be a posterboy. 7 successive seasons and over 1100 IP of ERA worse (and sometimes much worse) than FIP. Terry Ryan made a $40 million bet on him 2 years ago with disastrous results thus far.

Hutch seems to have that same Nolasco-ness about him. I do know when people were talking breakout prior to this past season, he had a plus 4 seamer and had reinvented his slider with much more movement. His 4 seamer was terrible last year and the extra slider movement he had the last half of 2014 disappeared.

China fan - Wednesday, November 18 2015 @ 04:19 PM EST (#315306) #
I've mentioned this in the other thread, but repeating it here:  Devon Travis has undergone shoulder surgery and can't do any baseball activities for the next 4 to 5 months.  He's unlikely to be able to return to the majors until June (depending on the length of his minor-league rehab). 

Goins will be the starting 2B during the absence of Travis, but who should be the back-up infielder?  Pennington is gone, Kawasaki isn't a great option, so should the Jays try to bring back Darwin Barney??

mathesond - Wednesday, November 18 2015 @ 04:38 PM EST (#315309) #
Sign Chase Utley!
uglyone - Wednesday, November 18 2015 @ 04:40 PM EST (#315310) #
"How much one believes in Hutch depends, in part at least, on how much one believes in FIP."

I understand you hate FIP, but baseball people still value Ks, BBs, and HRs when projecting pitching.

Even our very own baseball people...

Were working on that as we speak, said LaCava when asked what the organization needs to do to get Hutchison back on track. We know its in there, and if you look at his peripherals, his walk-rates good, his strike-out rate is solid, hes had success in the past, (but) for some reason it just didnt manifest in ERA. He won a bunch of games and we know how that goes, but, yeah, we think hes a great bounce-back candidate. And his will and his desire to be good, he has that. And thats going to help him.
LaCava feels there was some bad luck more so than his mechanics failing him or anything of that nature that hurt Hutchison.
I dont want to make excuses, but ... when you do the things that he does not walk guys, strike people out and hes has had success in the past I think hes likely to have a pretty strong bounce back, LaCava said"

and Loup too....

"We think hes better than his numbers were last year. We know that. And we think hell be a very effective left-handed reliever, said LaCava."

maybe you like it better because he doesn't actually say "FIP"?

or maybe you're unhappy we kept Lacava now?
uglyone - Wednesday, November 18 2015 @ 04:56 PM EST (#315314) #
"I suspect Shapiro, at least, isn't as high on Hutch as you may believe. The signing of Estrada strongly hints at that regard."

not really sure what estrada has to do with Hutch. we still need more starters even with both of them here.

or maybe you meant that the jays ignored FIP when signing Marco?

Marco had a 107fip- last year and 105fip- career. So basically a tick below average and maybe just plain average after factoring out relievers FIP. His contract matches his FIP, not his ERA.
China fan - Wednesday, November 18 2015 @ 04:58 PM EST (#315315) #
Those are fairly diplomatic comments by LaCava, in line with the tradition of baseball executives to say positive things about everyone.  I don't think it means that the Jays are already slotting Hutch into the starting rotation for 2016.  They'll wait and see how he looks at spring training, they'll see how the others might look (Sanchez etc), and they'll see who else they might be able to acquire in the off-season.   (There's a report by Morosi today that the Jays are among 3 teams who might be offering a starting OF to the Clevelands in exchange for a SP.  Presumably that means Pompey for a pitcher.) 

I wouldn't count out Hutchison -- he definitely has a chance of cracking the rotation in April -- but I'm sure the Jays will have other pitchers in the mix, competing with him, and they will be good pitchers.

China fan - Wednesday, November 18 2015 @ 05:02 PM EST (#315317) #
In my speculation about that Morosi rumor, I should have said Pompey or Revere for a Cleveland pitcher.
ogator - Wednesday, November 18 2015 @ 06:29 PM EST (#315326) #
Has anyone posted anything about what the Toronto Star claims is an increase in Blue Jay ticket prices by "more than 10%." That'll teach you to support your team. Since the Blue Jay fans showed up in amazing numbers and since Rogers had a very financially successful second half, it's time to squeeze the lemon dry.
John Northey - Wednesday, November 18 2015 @ 06:45 PM EST (#315327) #
Either Rogers or the scalpers will make the extra cash. I'd rather Rogers.
uglyone - Wednesday, November 18 2015 @ 07:00 PM EST (#315329) #
"Those are fairly diplomatic comments by LaCava, in line with the tradition of baseball executives to say positive things about everyone."

he could have said anything.

but he specifically refused to use the typical "mechanics tweak" excuse and referred specifically to bad luck ruining good underlying performance.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, November 19 2015 @ 04:01 AM EST (#315334) #
When it comes time for acquiring Starters, Greinke (QO), Price are the cream of the crop in Free Agent Pitching and most likely to be overpriced. Zimmermann (QO), Cueto are the rest of the best and will merely be just expensive. This is the market the Jays should be shopping in.

Top Second Tier Starters will be unreasonably priced. Samardzija (QO) is hyped to be a much better pitcher than he actually is the last few years. Mike Leake is at best an average mid-rotation arm. Wei-Yin Chen (QO) is a Boras client and as such unreasonably priced. Kenta Maeda will be posted, but who wins is always a lottery.

Mid-Second Tier Starters may not be worth what they get. Scott Kazmir may not last through a full season, plus Postseason. Ian Kennedy (QO) is another average Starter. Yovani Gallardo has become a Mid-Rotatipn Starter. John Lackey (QO) is just much too old. Hisashi Iwakuma is another old pitcher still with some success. This is not a market the Jays should be in.

Third Tier Starters or 4-5 Starters are usually not quite worth what they're paid. J.A. Happ has just been lucky, it's not skill. May Latos has been hurt and unlucky so how good he'll be is unknown. Doug Fister is as he has always been, a declining pitcher. Mike Pelfry is only of value because he stayed healthy last year. This group is of value if you don't have a Drew Hutchison. No one is really good enough or sure enough to make the Rotation next year. Beyond this list no one should go.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 19 2015 @ 08:34 AM EST (#315339) #
In the good news department, Dan Shulman will be calling 30 games on Sportsnet this year according to a tweet from Shi Davidi.
mathesond - Thursday, November 19 2015 @ 08:49 AM EST (#315340) #
Dan Shulman will be calling 30 games on Sportsnet this year

ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, November 19 2015 @ 09:14 AM EST (#315342) #
I'll enjoy hearing Dan Shulman again as well.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, November 19 2015 @ 10:56 AM EST (#315351) #
He was co-host on Primetime Sports for quite a while and when he left, the show wasn't the same ever again. I listen to Dan on all his TSN appearances on their Site. All-in-all, this is a huge acquisition.
hypobole - Thursday, November 19 2015 @ 01:11 PM EST (#315359) #
"I understand you hate FIP, but baseball people still value Ks, BBs, and HRs when projecting pitching."

Yeah, uglyone, I'm the Keith Law of FIP.

FIP is a great tool, but I think there are a few more non-luck outliers than you believe. That is the actual point of our contention.

Dickey and Young are. I firmly believe Nolasco is. Estrada seems to be, although even I'm not 100% sold. And I strongly suspect Hutch may be as well.

BTW, speaking of Keith Law, he's not an Estrada believer at all and stated he wouldn't pay more than 4-5 million for him.
It was non-analytics guy Jim Bowden who actually pegged Estrada's AAV at $13 million, although he predicted a 3rd year (3/39 total}.

Mike Green - Thursday, November 19 2015 @ 01:52 PM EST (#315361) #
No serious analyst would rely on either exclusively FIP or exclusively ERA to project future performance. Estrada has thrown almost exactly 600 innings over the last 4 years mostly as a starter.  His ERA during that time is 3.72 (ERA+ of 106) and his FIP is 4.16.  So, when Steamer projects him at an ERA of 4.48 and a FIP of 4.94, much worse than his norms on both counts, I wonder what they are thinking.  I guess that there is probably some age deterioration, but why it would afflict Estrada so spectacularly?  MGL has suggested, if I recall right, that at about 2-3 seasons worth of performance, ERA should probably account for more than FIP measures in projection.  I've got Estrada marked down for an ERA+ of 103 in 2016. 

As for Hutchison, his career ERA is 4.92 and his career FIP is 4.16 in 400 innings.  Even if you weight FIP/ERA at 60/40 in projecting future performance, you end up with a 2016 ERA of about 4.45 for an ERA+ of about 85.  He's only 24 and he may end up doing better in both the FIP and ERA departments and with significantly less spread.  That has more to do with his age (and his excellent minor league record) than philosophical differences about the weighting between FIP and ERA in projecting pitchers.

uglyone - Thursday, November 19 2015 @ 02:18 PM EST (#315363) #
"FIP is a great tool, but I think there are a few more non-luck outliers than you believe"

I dunno, you seem to roll your virtual eyes at FIP anytime anyone mentions it.

I have no issue with there being all sorts of non-luck outliers, but there has to be more evidence than just "his fip and era didn't line up for this small sample".
uglyone - Thursday, November 19 2015 @ 02:27 PM EST (#315364) #
"when Steamer projects him at an ERA of 4.48 and a FIP of 4.94, much worse than his norms on both counts, I wonder what they are thinking. I guess that there is probably some age deterioration, but why it would afflict Estrada so spectacularly?"

I would guess Steamer must look more at his 4.93xFIP last year (i.e. also regressing his HR/FB rate to near league average) than his FIP.

Or maybe it's this.....I'm not sure but I believe Steamer uses a 3yr weighted average of compenent parts. But when we're looking at raw numbers a 3yr weighted average is usually closer to 2yr raw average than a 3yr raw average, so if we look at Estrada's last 2yrs:

Total: 3.69era, 4.62fip, 4.59xfip
AS SP: 3.93era, 4.93fip, 4.70xfip

that second one there might be closer to where they get his projected FIP from.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 19 2015 @ 02:43 PM EST (#315365) #
It's as silly to rely on 1 year xFIP to project next year ERA for a 32 year old as it is to rely on 1 year ERA.  Steamer is projecting a FIP for Estrada in 2016 that is  worse than the worst FIP or xFIP of his career other than his rookie year in 2008.  Really? 

No one projects an ERA of 3.13 for Estrada in 2016.  It would generate gales of laughter.  Equally, no one ought to project a FIP of 4.9 for him. 
uglyone - Thursday, November 19 2015 @ 03:17 PM EST (#315367) #
his 2yr fip as an SP is 4.93. his 2yr xfip is 4.70.

I imagine his weighted 3yr average is similar.
Mike Green - Thursday, November 19 2015 @ 03:25 PM EST (#315368) #
Nope.  His FIP as a starter in 2013 was 3.86 and his xFIP in 2013 was 3.63, both lower than his ERA as a starter of 3.87.  His career starter numbers are very, very similar to his other numbers.  It is a mindless projection, which uses much less data than is available.  If it is going to rely on xFIP and FIP as a starter in 2014-15 (270 innings) without considering his ERA during that time or his other numbers in 2012-13, it is a dumb, dumb projection.

Dave Till - Thursday, November 19 2015 @ 04:36 PM EST (#315369) #
Totally unrelated to anything: out of curiosity, I looked up Noah Syndergaard on Baseball Reference. Two numbers caught my attention:

- He had an ERA of 4.23 on the road. (His splits were more extreme than most Mets, but Citi Field is a pitcher-friendly park.)

- In the second half of this season, he gave up 14 home runs in 83 1/3 innings. Ouch.

Given this, I hypothesize that Syndergaard might not seem as wonderful if the Rogers Centre was his home park.

Semi-related to this: Drew Hutchison's road ERA this year was 9.83. Wow. If you take his home stats and multiply by two, you get a top-flight pitcher who might even have earned some Cy Young votes: 22 W, 4 L, 185 IP, 168 H, 40 BB, 158 SO. I love baseball: it never completely makes sense.
bpoz - Thursday, November 19 2015 @ 04:38 PM EST (#315370) #
In last years off season we added position players J Donaldson, R Martin and M Saunders and lost Melky. Saunders did nothing. The other 2, plus Goins, Pillar, Cola were outstanding based on our expectations. Travis did very well when healthy. So overall WOW.

Pitching we added Estrada who contributed super WOW. The loss of Janssen and the decline of Loup I think was too much for the pen. Osuna saved the pen when he finally became our closer. The other additions and subtractions I think basically evened out. Over all I think we lost in the pen, but I do not know how much.

The rotation was a lot worse in 2015 until Price was acquired. I thought Dickey was much better in 2014, but when I checked, it seems he was pretty much the same. Buehrle & Hutch were a lot worse and Stroman was lost for most of the year. So now I have to say the rotation was bad or weak and basically not good enough.

So this is my version of why we were a .500 team at the end of July.

I do not know what the manager can do.

Major injuries to key players happen. And some key players under perform. Some over perform. Our big guns on offense over performed. 40 HRs, JD, JB and EE.
I cannot figure out the net gain/loss of Cola's offense/defense.

For 2016, I do not expect to be accurate. I never am.

I would love to see 3 40HR guys. I think the rotation will be better out of ST in 2016 if healthy. Dickey may be a lot better rather than a lot worse. I suppose the same would be quite good. We have to get more out of Stroman (gms played) and Hutch (gets better rather than worse). If Estrada repeats then he is an Ace.

Sanchez should learn more this year. Go deeper into games etc... Unless he is bad, he stays in the rotation otherwise the pen.

Osuna IMO has to stay in the pen as our closer unless a very good, experienced closer is added. Cecil stays good enough as is. I expect someone from last years pen to step up big. Who ever is smart and cool. Like Loup used to be until last year.

I think the 2016 opening day roster based on the above players is better than last year. Of course they have to be used the way I said.

uglyone - Thursday, November 19 2015 @ 04:56 PM EST (#315371) #
Like I said, Mike, it is most likely a weighted 3yr projection.
scottt - Thursday, November 19 2015 @ 05:27 PM EST (#315372) #
Stroman, Estrada, Dickie is not a bad top 3 but I think you need another guy in there so you can have a competition between Hutch and Sanchez for the #5 spot.

Hutch is a 3 pitch pitcher, like Estrada,
They both have excellent second offerings, but Estrada can generate fly balls with his fastballs, whereas Hutch needs to hit his spots and get the calls his way to be truly effective.
I think Hutch might need to change his strategy to be successful as a starter.
Maybe add a cutter or simply more variation on the slider, so he can challenge the hitter without  using the fastball.

uglyone - Thursday, November 19 2015 @ 06:13 PM EST (#315375) #
all that being said, Mike, i don't like the steamer projection either.

to be honest i usually calculate raw 2yr splits and they do as good or better a job as the projections do afaic. i don't think much of steamer in general. zips is better.

2yr splits:

SP Stroman (25): 24gs, 6.1ip/gs, 77era-, 75fip-
SP Dickey (41): 65gs, 6.5ip/gs, 96era-, 111fip-
SP Estrada (31): 46gs, 6.0ip/gs, 100era-, 124fip-
SP Hutchison (25): 60gs, 5.6ip/gs, 124era-, 102fip-
SP Sanchez (23): 11gs, 6.0ip/gs, 87era-, 127fip-

RP Cecil (29): 129gms, 107.2ip, 65era-, 59fip-
RP Osuna (21): 68gms, 69.2ip, 63era-, 73fip-
RP Hendriks (27): 61gms, 71.2ip, 74era, 51fip-
RP Loup (28): 131gms, 111.0ip, 92era-, 96fip-
RP Jenkins (28): 22gms, 35.1ip, 72era-, 101fip-
RP Schultz (30): 35gms, 51.0ip, 106era-, 116fip-
RP Tepera (28): 32gms, 33.0ip, 80era-, 141fip-
RP Delabar (32): 61gms, 55.0ip, 127era-, 130fip-

2B Travis (25): 238pa, 135wrc+, 7.1uzr/150
3B Donaldson (30): 1406pa, 141wrc+, +11.8uzr/150
RF Bautista (35): 1339pa, 154wrc+, -2.9uzr/150
DH Encarnacion (33): 1166pa, 150wrc+, ---
1B Colabello (32): 580pa, 121wrc+, -3.8uzr/150
SS Tulowitzki (31): 909pa, 129wrc+, +4.7uzr/150
C Martin (33): 967pa, 127wrc+, +10drs
LF Saunders (29): 299pa, 117wrc+, +12.3uzr/150
CF Pillar (27): 750pa, 93wrc+, +15.4uzr/150

UT Smoak (29): 604pa, 94wrc+, +3.1uzr/150
OF Pompey (23): 146pa, 88wrc+, +4.1uzr/150
IF Goins (28): 621pa, 67wrc+, +7.1uzr/150
C Thole (29): 202pa, 63wrc+, -7drs

OF Revere (28): 1260pa, 95wrc+, -5.7uzr/150
OF Carrera (29): 265pa, 87wrc+, -7.2uzr/150

bet that does as well as steamer.

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